Liberal Jews Want To Make The Solidarity Movement A Goyrein Zone
Liberal Jews Want To Make The Solidarity Movement A Goyrein Zone
July 10, 2015 / Gilad Atzmon
GA: I have learned today that the Liberal Jewish gatekeepers who run the US Campaign to End the Occupation are attempting to expel the great Alison Weir. It really starts to look as if expulsion is a Jewish epidemic. I wonder, do they really insist to make the solidarity movement a Goyrein Zone-lightly comic but hardly surprising. For a while these problematic tribals have been operating as a controlled opposition apparatus. Seemingly they decided to move on. The have now adopted the Israeli strategy, they erect ghetto walls around them, they push the Goyim out, they clearly prefer to operate within a synagogue.
Cartoon by Enzo Apicella (A to Zion)
The Following is Alison Weir’s statement:
We thought we should inform you about the latest attack on us, this one an interrogation by the Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation, which seems intended to expel us from this coalition. Below is an email we have sent to member organizations, which explains the situation in full:
Dear Campaign Member Organization,
If Americans Knew has just received a letter from the Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation interrogating us about a variety of allegedly dastardly actions that took place years ago, with the intention of expelling us from the Campaign if our answers are not satisfactory.
This interrogation, which we believe is absolutely unfounded and inappropriate, is the latest move in what I can only term a witch-hunt against pro-justice activists who some gatekeepers decide to attack. I hope that member organizations that do not support such witch-hunting and divisive infighting and attacks will object.
Ironically, the accusations against us stem from us fulfilling our mission: to provide accurate, transparently cited facts about Palestine (mostly unreported and unknown) to everyone possible in the United States. We believe that informing Americans is the path to changing U.S. policies – and that this is the way to bring true justice, security and peace to all the people of Palestine, Israel, the U.S. and indeed the world.
We must counter the massive misinformation being fed to the American public, and we reject attempts to censor, constrict, and limit our work.
Our accusers claim that my giving interviews to an obscure internet radio program indicates endorsement of the interviewer and whatever he may have published or stated elsewhere. In reality, as you know, writers, leaders, activists, politicians and others give interviews to all kinds of people and programs (from Fox News to Communist papers).
They also assert I am “associated” with all the websites that have posted my articles, even though sites repost my work without permission, compensation or even my knowledge (along with those of many other activists). The reposting, sharing or distribution of my work or If Americans Knew materials does not indicate endorsement by me or If Americans Knew.
However, we don’t copyright our material and support the “Creative Commons” internet licensing norm, which permits anyone to “copy and redistribute the material in any format.” We believe this advances both the freedom of the internet and our own mission to get accurate information out as widely as possible. (One website that didn’t cite the original source of my article has not responded to requests to rectify that.)
The accusers also claim that I did not do a sufficiently good job in a few interviews out of the probably thousands I have given. You can read details below in my response to the Campaign Inquisition (as well as at our website), but suffice to say that I do my best to get my message out in all interviews. I don’t pretend to be perfect, and (like most of us, probably) I often think later of things I should have said and better responses I could have given, especially when interviewers are confusing and hard to hear over internet phone connections.
Overall, however, despite imperfection and always falling short of the excellence I’d like to achieve, I’m proud of my efforts. Despite the amazing amount of time my accusers seem to have spent poring over my interviews, they seem only able to come up with things that I allegedly should have said.
Finally, the accusers attack a few of my writings, drawing on accusations certain pro-Israel organizations have long made against me, saying that I should have covered up some of the well-cited information I included. This is unacceptable. I believe that democracy requires a “free marketplace of ideas,” in which all information can be considered and sources followed up so that individuals can decide for themselves which information and arguments have merit.
Campaign member organizations could all file complaints against other members in our coalition – especially against organizations that work with and include Zionists, who are supporting war crimes, aggression against unarmed civilians, and apartheid-like conditions for the native people of Palestine-Israel.
Yet, we have all chosen not to do this, and for good reason. At If Americans Knew, we focus on getting accurate information out as widely as possible with the goal of bringing real change – justice and peace for all parties. We believe member organizations share this goal and therefore most remain focused on that, using diverse approaches and strategies that complement one another.
Below is the letter from the Campaign, along with my point-by-point response. The letter largely replicates an attack against us by Jewish Voice for Peace, whose accusations we have already thoroughly rebutted – Please seehttp://www.ifamericansknew.org/about_us/accusations.html. We have received tremendous support in response to this attack against us, and we have shared some of that response at the end of the page linked above.
Yet the Campaign has taken up these discredited accusations and even added a few more that repeat the accusations of pro-Israel organizations.
We find this Inquisition improper and a misuse of members’ fees.
If Americans Knew has been working on this issue devotedly year after year despite death threats, smears, obscene emails, threatening phone calls, and even an assault on me.
While many people were ignoring Palestine, we were working day and night to wake up Americans to the urgent facts. We built a website, conducted media studies and massive research, produced numerous written materials and have shipped tens of thousands of booklets, cards, fact-sheets, and videos all over the country — often filling last-minute orders so that groups could get them in time for their events.
I have written articles and a book, appeared on a myriad of radio programs and public access TV shows of all types, often at a moment’s notice, and have spoken all over the country to large groups and small ones – on campuses, in living rooms, libraries, Rotary Clubs, Veterans for Peace groups, religious groups of many stripes, Kiwanis Clubs, Socialist organizations, Democratic Clubs, social justice groups, at rallies and conventions; staffed booths everywhere from the US Social Forum to American Legion national conventions (where I was twice ejectedfor my polite and legitimate support of USS Liberty veterans) to get facts to everyone possible. I have stayed in hotel rooms and on couches, taken jets and Greyhound buses.
For years I left my family during Thanksgiving vacations to speak at American Muslims for Palestine conventions. I’ve been honored to give keynote addresses for a wide range of worthy groups, traveling all over the country to raise money for such groups as the Palestine Children’s Relief Fund, CAIR, PAB, and numerous charities in cities across the nation raising money for Palestinians suffering and dying under Israeli oppression.
I did all this knowing that I was thereby exposing myself to a variety of potential perils, including malicious attacks on my character and on my organization. I was ready for this. I believed then, and I believe now, that if I did my best to work for justice and truth, there would be as many who would stand with me as would try to tear me down.
Through the years numerous people have told us that the If Americans Knew website is the most valuable one they’ve found on this issue, especially for reaching people new to the issue, and that my talks were the most effective they had heard on the topic. And now with the publication of my book, If Americans Knew is receiving even more supportive messages, many from newcomers to the issue and saying it’s the most eye-opening book they’ve read on the subject. This is not to brag; there are many people who have done and are doing amazing work on this issue, and we rely heavily on most of them — rather, it reflects our decade-and-a-half focus on reaching beyond the “choir.”
I have a life history of opposing racism of all sorts and of supporting justice. The If Americans Knew staff and I are committed to justice and dedicated to getting the facts out as widely as we possibly can.
It is strange that our accusers are dredging up events that took place years ago and combing my hundreds or thousands of interviews with even the most obscure hosts, in order to craft attacks on us. These attempts to create some kind of guilt by “association” and misrepresentations of my and If Americans Knew’s work mirror ADL attacks on us.
Defending ourselves against these attacks could easily force our tiny, shoestring-budget organization to put important projects on the back burner; as I write this, I’m leaving articles half-written and am delaying our billboard and other public outreach work. But we refuse to let it stop us, intimidate us, or long distract us. We’ll just work a little harder to keep pushing for change with all our skimpy resources and slim staff time — and then some.
Thank you for your time and, most of all, your work for justice and peace.
In solidarity for justice in Palestine,
If Americans Knew